CSotD: Kisses for Señor Pepe

But first, this: Alice Roosevelt said of her father, Theodore, that he “always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral” However, she didn’t suggest that he would declare himself prematurely dead in order to secure the role.
Yes, editorial cartoonists are having a rough time. But enough. Stop pushing the concept —  even by denying it — that the medium is over and done, because people will believe you. Publishers will believe you, editors will believe you, readers will believe you.
In fact, it’s starting to sound like you believe it yourselves.
STFU and fight back by drawing great work.
Here’s a bunch of fer-instances:


I’m old enough to remember when every movie was preceded by a color cartoon, and Ann Telnaes cheerfully furnishes one.

Telnaes’ strength is not in arguing political points but in illuminating character, and here’s the silly fellow now, bobbling along in his tank.


And I don’t know what role gender may play in this, but I find it interesting that Signe Wilkinson also portrays him as silly and childish.

There are rumors and rumblings that Trump doesn’t mind being called a dictator or a bully but really hates being called a baby. Well, if the shoe fits, wear it, pal, and, by the way, people will be handing out Baby Trump balloons on the mall.

But on the other side of the gender divide, we find our first

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Breen)

(Michael de Adder)

(Jack Ohman)

Breen’s accusation is a bit in-your-face for my tastes, though I don’t disagree. But it feels like he’s opening a second front by picking a fight with the monster truck people, and I like de Adder’s more focused version, which not only makes the point, but hearkens back to the way Telnaes and Wilkinson point and giggle.

Meanwhile, Jack Ohman reminds me of freshman year in college, because I’m not 100% sure I’m supposed to see a phallic symbol in that, but I do and it’s kind of flaccid.

One thing I learned in writing classes was that, if people see phallic symbols in your work,  they’re probably right, whether you intended them or they simply filtered in from your subconscious mind.

(Also that every protagonist must have the initials J.C., but I digress.)

However, whatever the message in that elephant-turret’s trunk, the preponderance of elephants overhead brings up the topic of whether this is a celebration of America or a political rally, which is a different case in which conscious intention and subconscious accidents may be equally fused.

An article in the Washington Post about the additional $2.5 million this bloated extravaganza is costing the Park Service dealt briefly with Presidential intentions, and it’s worth prefacing with the fact that presidents have not, in past years, intruded upon the public celebration.

Though, if they had, there would have been nothing wrong with a quick presidential speech of “Hooray for America! Enjoy the party!”

However, handing out tickets to wealthy contributors could create an unfortunate appearance of class-preference, according to Brendan Fischer, federal reform director for the Campaign Legal Center, while the speech itself could open a whole other can of worms:

Since federal appropriations law prohibits using public money for political purposes, Fischer noted, the issue will depend on what Trump says in his speech. If he refers to some of the 2020 presidential hopefuls, or polling related to the race, Trump’s reelection campaign may be required to reimburse the U.S. Treasury.

Not that requiring payment from the Committee to Re-elect is a terribly effective move: He seems to handle campaign finance the same way he handled the costs of building and running casinos.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Bill Bramhall)

(Mike Luckovich)

It was inevitable that bringing tanks into the thing would inspire this comparison, though Bramhall raises the overall question of taste while Luckovich pins his criticism to a specific issue.


Meanwhile, Bill Day simply lays out the implications of a beleagured, would-be tyrant hauling out military hardware.

It’s worth remembering that, while Tank Man’s courage was inspirational, it was also futile, given the hundreds, maybe thousands, killed in Tiananmen Square once the tanks had driven past him.

And that Boris Yeltsin called in the tanks to successfully resist governmental opposition to his reforms.

Which brings us to

Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Matt Davies)

(Matt Wuerker)

Some Trump supporter on social media responded to those who oppose militarization of the holiday by pointing out that our Revolution was a military operation.

Which it was, but it was in opposition to an imperial force with a standing army, and, in fact, the Second and Third Amendment were placed in the Bill of Rights precisely because of the patriots’ fear and hatred of standing armies.

I will leave personal comparisons of Donald Trump and King George III to historians, but, well, I wouldn’t have mentioned it if I didn’t find it intriguing.

But keeping standing armies in the streets during times of peace was one of the specific grievances in the Declaration of Independence.


Perhaps Tim Campbell wraps it up best, which is to say, Tim Campbell drew the cartoon I most agree with.

Hey, that’s my definition of “Best.”

Enjoy the holiday and, please, try not to think about this, because it has absolutely nothing at all to do with anything or anybody:


7 thoughts on “CSotD: Kisses for Señor Pepe

  1. Paul Berge, forgive me but where do you see a suggestion of redesigning the flag?

  2. The only “redesign” of the flag that I see is in the Telnaes gif, which is clearly the emergency signal of an upside down flag.

  3. Watch the video clip for the flag reference.
    Heck, find the whole movie if you’ve never seen it.

  4. When I saw that header my first thought was it had something to do with Pepe the Frog.

    I’m tempted to say that flag has a wardrobe malfunction but the wardrobe isn’t where the malfunction lies.

  5. Off topic : – wonderful salute to Brian Fies’s
    “Fire Story” on the PBS Newshour tonight !

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